Via The Australian comes the good news:
Scott Morrison will move to ensure the Senate sits without a break until the Coalition’s entire $158 billion income tax cut package is passed when parliament resumes next week, after Labor’s frontbench yesterday rejected calls from its own senior MPs to wave through all three stages of the plan.
Setting up a showdown with business and members of his own caucus, Anthony Albanese yesterday demanded the government split the tax legislation, fast-track the delivery of relief for middle-income earners and accelerate infrastructure spending, in a move he conceded would cost the budget an extra $3.7bn.
In his first major policy decision as Opposition Leader, Mr Albanese revealed that his frontbench had agreed to withhold support for the third stage of the tax plan, under which 94 per cent of taxpayers would pay a marginal rate of no more than 30 per cent by July 2024.
An the AFR:
A deal with the Senate crossbench to pass the $158 billion in tax cuts is looking increasingly likely after Labor effectively ruled itself out of the debate with a complicated compromise offer that was rejected immediately by the government.
…It is understood independent Tasmanian Senator, Jacqui Lambie, who has formed a loose bloc with Centre Alliance, could also support the tax cuts if satisfied with the energy price guarantees. This would deliver the tax cuts and sideline One Nation.
The Government has succeeded in wedging itself here. It’s obvious that it should agree to CA terms on gas reservation. Not only will it deliver the tax cuts it needs, it will deliver a much larger economic stimulus in the form of falling utility bills over time. Given the gas price determines the east coast electricity price, we are talking a $7bn one off boost from tax cuts versus $15-20bn every year in cheaper energy. It will also wipe out inflation, driving the RBA to QE sooner rather than later, also better for the Government.
Why is the Government so against it? Because falling energy prices will destroy the enormous lie upon which its entire energy policy platform is based: that renewable energy is responsible for higher energy bills. Without this lie, its coal fetish, and the QLD votes that come with it, dissipate.
But, truth be told, who even cares? QLD voters will still back the Coalition on the bigger issue of lower immigration. And if energy prices fall, the Government will get the kudos for it anyway in a stronger than otherwise economy. The issues are so poorly understood that it could even claim success for its ill-directed “big stick” powers aimed at electricity firms. Nobody but MB readers would be the wiser.
Bizarrely, CA and I are actually arguing against the Government to boost itself.